Team India made a winning start to the three-match T20I series as they beat Australia by 11 runs in the first T20 match in Canberra on Friday.
After KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja guided the team to 161 runs for the loss of 7 wickets, Yuzvendra Chahal, who came on as a concussion substitute for injured Ravindra Jadeja, and T Natarajan, who made his T20I debut, scalped three wickets each to help India seal a win.
Needing 162 runs to win, Australia were off to a flying start, racing past fifty in the powerplay. Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short got a life each in the seventh over bowled by Deepak Chahar.
However, Chahal, who was introduced into the attack in the seventh over, gave India their first breakthrough as Hardik Pandya took a fine catch in the deep to get Finch out for 35.
The leg-spinner got his second wicket in his next over as Sanju Samson held on to a stunning low catch in the 10th over. T Natarajan scalped his first wicket on T20I debut in the 11th over as he trapped Glenn Maxwell before the wickets.
While Short and Moises Henriques added 38 runs together, Natarajan broke the partnership, dismissing the left-hander for 34.
Chahal picked his third wicket of the match as he struck on his final ball of the fourth over to get Matthew Wade out in the 17th over. Deepak Chahar then got Henriques out LBW as Australia lost their sixth wicket.
Natarajan disturbed the timber in the penultimate over to dismiss Mitchell Starc before India limited Australia to 150/7 to win the match by 11 runs.
Dhawan, Kohli fizzled out
Earlier, after putting in to bat, Shikhar Dhawan got out early after Mitchell Starc struck in the third over. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli then took India past 40 at the end of the powerplay.
Mitchell Swepson then struck in his first over as Kohli got out for 9. Sanju Samson joined Rahul in the middle. The two played some attractive shots in their 38-run stand. However, the partnership was broken in the 12th over after Moises Henriques dismissed Samson for 23.
Australia picked two more wickets in quick succession. While Manish Pandey was caught at short third-man off Adam Zampa’s bowling, KL Rahul got out for 51 as Henriques got his second wicket.
Jadeja scores crucial runs for India
Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja took India past 110 before the former was caught in the deep in the 17th over.
India was looking for some quick runs and Jadeja delivered. The left-hander creamed three fours and a six in the penultimate over as India moved to 150/6. Jadeja, who remained not out on 44 off 23 balls, took India to 161/7.
Kohli speaks on concussion replacement
There were no plans of having Yuzi in the game. Jaddu got a knock on the side of the head and was a bit dizzy and still is. Concussion replacements are a strange thing, today it worked for us maybe another time he wouldn’t have found a like-for-like. Yuzi came in and bowled really well, there was no pressure on him when he came in, he just had to bowl his overs. But Yuzi showed character to squeeze the opponents and the pitch offered him enough,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
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